2012 Arizona Cardinals Betting Preview
We kind of figured the Arizona Cardinals would miss Kurt Warner, but now, after two seasons, the situation is getting serious. Arizona has a decent team surrounding the QB position, but it certainly hasn’t gotten much help from that spot the last two years. And the Cardinals will go into this season without a clear-cut starter behind center. If it could just settle on somebody who can manage this offense and hit a few deep throws Arizona could make a run at the playoffs. We’re just not sure if that guy is on this roster.
Last Season in Review
The Cardinals won their opener last year in Cam Newton’s pro debut for Carolina, but then lost their next six in a row, although four of those came by four points or less. Then, as they exchanged quarterbacks a couple of times, Arizona actually won seven of its last nine games, beating the Eagles, Cowboys and Niners along the way, to finish at 8-8.
The Cardinals also, amazingly, won four games in overtime last year.
So we can’t quite call last year a “lost season” for Arizona, because progress was made, although not enough of it at that QB spot.
The Cardinals ranked 19th in the league in offense last year at 325 YPG, only 24th in rushing at 102 YPG.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage Arizona ranked 18th in defense at 355 YPG, and 21st vs. the run at 124 YPG. But while not great numbers, both those rankings were considerable improvements over 2010.
So overall the Cards ranked 25th in both total yardage at -30 YPG and total rushing at -22 YPG, and 28th in time-of-possession at -3:38 per game.
Around the league last year teams that got outrushed covered the spread just 31 percent of the time, and teams that lost the TOP battle covered just 34 percent of games.
Somehow, Arizona managed to go 9-7 ATS, winning three games outright as underdogs.
Cardinals games averaged 41 points last year, which was about a field goal below the league average. Consequently they went 7-8-1 on the ‘over/unders.’
Arizona went 6-2 when John Skelton was the main QB last year, and 2-6 when Kolb was the main guy, although we’re not exactly sure why, because Kolb’s numbers were slightly better than Skelton’s.
Together, Kolb and Skelton combined to complete just 57 percent of their passes last year and compiled a 21/23 TD/INT ratio.
Also, RB Beanie Wells ran for 1,000 yards in 14 games; WR Larry Fitzgerald grabbed 80 balls for 1,400 yards; and Patrick Peterson, as a rookie, returned four punts for scores.
Arizona parted ways with one starting offensive lineman, a starting DT, LB and CB, and brought in, among others, former Niners OG Adam Snyder and former Steelers CB William Gay.
Then at the draft the Cardinals grabbed Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd with the 13th overall pick, figuring he could team with Fitzgerald to form a very dangerous receiving combo.
2012 Cardinals Schedule
Arizona will play the eighth-toughest schedule in the league this season, based on last year’s W/L records. The Cards have six games vs. teams that made the playoffs last year, plus dates with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jets, and Bears. Arizona opens with Seattle, then plays the Patriots and Philly. After that, though, they have four straight games vs. non-playoff qualifiers of a season ago. But the Cardinals then go Niners-Packers-Falcons, and finish at the Jets and at Seattle, at home vs. Detroit and Chicago, then at San Francisco. Looking from afar Arizona might only be favored in as few as four or five of its games this season.
2012 Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds and Prediction
Bovada is offering Arizona at +500 to win the NFC West this season, 28/1 to win the NFC and 50/1 to win the Super Bowl, while over at Bookmaker the Cardinals will play against a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of seven (O +115/U -145).
Arizona is 40-40 under Coach Whisenhunt, and all things considered that’s great for this franchise. The last Cardinals HC to leave with a winning record remains the great Don Coryell.
We like a lot of things about this team this season, except the QB spot and the schedule. That’s why we’re leaning toward the ‘under’ on seven wins for Arizona this season.